I plan on getting every ounce of outside enjoyment I can, because in a few weeks the temperatures will rise and sitting on my patio in a sweater enjoying a cool breeze, will be a thing of the past. Today we were forced inside because of the rain, but in no way do I consider this a loss. My rain barrel will be full tomorrow and my pantry will be stocked with shortbread cookies. I finally got the chance to use the rest of my black walnuts and was granted a little reminder of last years fall fun. It is amazing how certain smells can bring you right back to a particular time or place. It's one of the reasons why preserving flavors from each season is so enjoyable.
Black Walnut Shortbread Cookies (Gluten-Free)
2 cups gluten-free flour blend (recipe below)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup cane sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup toasted and chopped black walnuts (or finely chopped regular walnuts)
Extra sugar for topping
*Maple sugar glaze (powdered sugar mixed with grade B maple syrup)
Grey sea salt
In a bowl combine the gluten-free flour blend with baking powder, salt and ground nutmeg; set aside. In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the softened unsalted butter with sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and egg and continue to beat until combined. With a spoon stir in the chopped walnuts and the flour mixture until you can form the dough into a ball. Divide the dough into two pieces and shape into a disk. Wrap each disk in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Take the dough out one at a time and roll out on a floured surface (this is where the extra gluten-free flour blend is helpful). Cut dough into shapes and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet. Sprinkle some extra sugar on top of each cookie. Bake in preheated oven for 8-10 minutes or until the edges get slightly browned. Transfer cookies to wire rack to cool. Drizzle on some maple glaze and top with some flaked grey sea salt. Store cookies in airtight container.
*I don't have an exact recipe for the maple sugar glaze. The best way to achieve a type of glaze like this one is to start with 1 cup of powdered sugar and slowly add the maple syrup until you get a consistency you like. Don't make your glaze ahead of time because it will harden as time passes.
Gluten-Free flour blend
1 1/4 cups sorghum flour
1 1/4 cups oat flour
1 cup sweet rice flour
1 cup tapioca flour
2 teaspoons xanthan gum
In a bowl whisk together all the ingredients. You will have extra, so store it in an airtight container.